Ads 468x60px



Idaho Spotlight: The Teton Valley (and Pooh-Tater!)

Driving into Jackson Wyoming or Yellowstone from Eastern Idaho will take you within range of the Grand Teton Mountains.  This is a gorgeous mountain range and makes for some great pictures.

The name 'Grand Teton' is French for 'Large Teat.'  I find this interesting because the Tetons have 3 main peaks.

3 Tetons.... 3 Teats.... 3 Boobs... Is anyone else having a "Total Recall" flashback here?

Oh, and by the way, you find some interesting things when you google "3 boobs."  Just saying...  (don't click that link if you're at work.  If it's safe, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS!  HAHAHAHA)

Ok ok ok, back to topic.

During the drive, you will pass a small Drive-In theater between the towns of Driggs and Victor.  It's called... The Spud.

In front of The Spud is a flatbed truck with a giant potato on it:

And while the truck is named "Old Murphy" it looks more like Red from the Cars movies.

Hiding in Old Murphy is an odd tater that looks like he's trying to drive.  Or just peek at passers by...

Taters, precious?
While not as tater-tastic as the Potato Museum in Blackfoot, The Spud offers potato-themed art such as Pooh-Tater.

...yes.  I said Pooh-Tater.  If you took Winnie the Pooh and cross-bred him with a Russet, you'd get this abomination.

And look!  Not one but two!  Two potential copyright infringement issues for Disney to laugh about!

While these towns aren't very big (Driggs = pop. 1,100, Victor = pop. 1,928) there are some nice shops, bistros and bars to check out in the area.  I highly recommend the Alpine Wines Bistro off main street.  Great soups, great wine selection, and top-notch service!

If you're heading into Yellowstone through Idaho, give Teton Valley a look.  You'll miss it if you blink, but if you stop and enjoy the area, you will be mildly amused in more ways than one.

Oh, and tell Pooh-Tater that I sent ya!


Hotel Evacuation? Sounds Fun.

Until recently, I have never been in a fire or an actual evacuation due to a fire.  I have been in countless fire drills, been told how to evacuate a school / house / plane / bus / hotel in case of fire, but I was never unfortunate enough to put my training to the test.

...until last week.

Last week I was doing a ride along with a VIP.  He is a manufacturer rep, and actually more of an executive than a rep.  We covered Wyoming and Idaho in one day, and were ending the night in Missoula Montana.

750 miles and 13.5 hours after the work day started, our day finally ended.  We pulled into the hotel, checked in, wound down, settled in our own respective rooms, when...


The alarm was going off.

I had just drifted off to sleep, and my TV hadn't quite turned off (sleep mode rocks) when the alarms started.

I woke up, and initially thought it was the TV.  The movie trailer for Prometheus was on, and the annoying siren-music on the trailer sounded a lot like the alarm.

So I turned down the volume.

The noise wasn't going away.

Finally, I put on some decent clothes, grabbed the essentials (room key, wallet, phone for pictures) and inspected the door.  Not hot.  I looked outside.

Smoke.  Everywhere.

Like everyone else, I evacuated.  There were dozens of people already outside (including a few hotties in only robes) and we all herded together.  I found my VIP ride-mate, and we laughed about the situation.  "You really know how to show a guy a good time, Brandon" he quipped.

Then the fire trucks came...

The night manager did a head count and assured all the patrons that we would receive some sort of recompense for the situation.

We were also assured that, although smoke was a-plenty, there were no flames.

Apparently, one of the dryers exploded.  At least, that's what we were told.

An hour later (in 44 degree weather) we were finally given the all-clear and told to go back inside.  On and off for the next 30 minutes, they tested the alarms to make sure they were working properly.  Around 3:30, after everything was said and done, and nerves finally calmed, I was finally able to get to sleep.

...and start my day around 6:30.

The next day, I checked out.  The manager on duty gave me my invoice, apologized for the night before, and wished me well.  No recompense, no discount, no comped room.  I was slightly miffed, but in a hurry, so I didn't have time to argue.

On my way out, I noticed this sign and laughed:

Ironic much?
I stay at this La Quinta whenever I'm in Missoula.  They've been good to me until this last trip, so I'm a little torn.  The next time I'm in town, I may shop around to other hotels...

The moral of this story?

CLEAN YOUR LINT TRAPS OFTEN!!  A hotel manager friend of mine mentioned this was likely the cause of the problem, and happens more often than you'd think.

Needless to say, when I got home after my long trip, I went straight to my dryer and cleaned that fucking trap.

Have you ever had something like this happen?  What did you do?  What did the hotel do?


History of Poker Chips (a guest post)

Poker chips are used for everything from home card games to fundraising casino nights to cash substitutes at actual casinos, but have you ever wondered how they came to be? Learn a little about the history and evolution of poker chips so that you can show off your knowledge at your next game of Texas Hold’em. 

The game of poker dates back to the early nineteenth century. Poker chips were not too far behind, making their appearance in the mid-1800s when players as well as card dealers wanted an easier way to determine how much money was at stake for a particular hand. While wadded up bills and piles of coins were difficult to tally, color-coded chips could be summed up in just a few moments. Some chips were also made in varying sizes according to their denominations.

Once gamblers were familiar with and comfortable using the chips, casino and gambling hall managers quickly observed that players were looser with their money when it was not cold, hard cash, so the chip quickly overtook the coin or dollar as the prevailing currency.

Soon, underhanded gamblers learned how to make or purchase phony poker chips, allowing them to gamble at no cost or even trade in chips for cash. Once casinos wised up to the counterfeiting, they quickly began creating custom chips that differentiated theirs from other gambling halls as well as the fake ones.

Poker chips have gone from being comprised of agate, bone, glass, ivory and mother-of-pearl to their current predominant compositions of clay, ceramic and plastic. Buying your own unique set from a reputable retailer such as is a fun idea if you enjoy hosting serious poker games in your game room or club, but since you are probably not concerned about shady strangers with counterfeit chips, it is okay if you and your friends happen to have the same chips. In fact, it can be beneficial when you need to pool them together for a tournament-style get together.


Local Business Spotlight - Pie Hole Pizza

I was having a twitter conversation with Sare a week ago, where we were discussing her Idaho exploits and some neat things in the area that I have missed.

She mentioned a pizza place in nearby Pocatello Idaho, called Pie Hole Pizza.

And I instantly fall in love.  I HAVE to go check this place out, simply based on their awesome name.

Well I did, and I have to say, I was fairly impressed.


When I first arrived, I liked the overall look of the exterior.  It had the 'hole in the wall' vibe going on without looking too trashy:

Three things I noticed right away:

- The "we are open late" sign, followed by
- The large amount of bars in the area (coincidence??)
- The $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon cans, all day every day.  (Have I just walked into a hipster pizza joint?)

Inside, you can tell this place is a college hangout.  Idaho State University is in town, and Pie Hole is definitely catering to that crowd.  Snowboards line the walls as decorations.  There is a chalk-written menu.  Odd art on the walls.  Electric stoner-funk playing though the speakers.

Me, at 31, felt a little old in this place.  But I really liked the atmosphere.

*click to enlarge*
The menu here is plain and simple.

- Pizza
- Soda
- Beer
- Repeat

They had 'create your own' options as well as house specials.  The one catching my eye the most was their Potato & Bacon pizza.  It uses alfredo sauce instead of marinara, and then, well, potatoes and bacon.

Sounds odd, doesn't it?  Well, when I was there, 3 out of 5 people were ordering that...

Service was friendly, beer was cheap, and they served pizza by the slice.  If I'm a poor college student or a hungry stoner, this place seems like a great fit.

But what about a traveling salesman, just looking for some good road food?

(Notice how I haven't talked about the food yet?)

A pizza place lives and dies by their pizza, and the pies at Pie Hole are just...


You know those mall pizza places?  (Sbarro, I think?)  Yeah, the pizza looks and tastes like that. Flimsy thin crust, gigantic pepperoni slices that your teeth can't cut though, so you get the whole damn thing, and grease grease grease.

But, I paid $4.40 for a slice and a soda.  Overall, I think I got what I paid for...

If this were a newspaper-esque restaurant review, I would give an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5.  GREAT marks on ambiance, service and price, but the food brings the rating down.  It's not bad, not bad at all, but not as high-quality as some other pizza joints.

But, alas, Pie Hole also has locations in the Boise market.  I'll probably be back, so shove more pie down my piehole...


Brandon's Bizarre Moving Adventure!

I remember back in my college days, helping a female friend move usually meant 2 of the 3 following things:

- Pizza

- Beer

- Sexual Favors

I recently helped my sister in law move (heh, scratch #3 from that list) out of mom and dad's house, and I remembered why I don't like moving.

Especially when stairs are involved.  Seriously, why do people rent 2nd-floor apartments???

The plan started out simple:  Meet up at noon Saturday.  Gf and I, sis in law, a few of her other friends, and 2-3 trucks to move stuff.  With luck, we can get it all done in two hours, three tops.

Her friends, um, forgot.  The only truck we had was "Dad's" old beat-up pickup, but we will make it work.

I gulped, since I would be the only man there.  This means the majority of the heavy lifting would be done by yours truly.

Moving was slow but steady.  About 4 hours into the process (and about 50% progress) one of the truck tires begins to leak.

The valve stem had a small crack in it, and if you put pressure on the stem the leaking stopped. what did I do?

Why, I improvised, of course.  By wedging a pebble between the rim and the stem, the leak stopped.  A few layers of electrical tape later, we were good to go and making trips again.

Seriously, isn't this awesome?  Manliness achievement unlocked.

Your move, McGuyver.  Beat THAT, Chuck Norris.

After moving everything in to the apartment, pizza arrived.  Beer was distributed.  Relaxation commenced.  Then we tried to move furniture into place...

...and the bed wouldn't fit.

It was a one-bedroom apartment, and sis' 5yo kid was getting the real bedroom.  Sis was converting a walk-in closet into her "Bed Hole" and measured to make sure her bed would fit.

The measurement was off by about an inch.  The box spring wouldn't fit. what did I do?

Beer-basted Brandon offered to trim down the box spring by an inch to make it fit.

The ladies, of course, loved the idea.

So I found an electric saw, chopped the box spring in half, and trimmed it down the middle just a smidge.

Power tools + alcohol.  This isn't the first time...

10 minutes (and a few laughs) later, we had the bed into place.  It barely fit, but it did fit.  And that's what counts, right?

It was a masterpiece.


...just don't look under the sheets...
The phrase "You're a man, you can make it fit" was tossed around a lot that day, often followed by "that's what she said..."  I felt really ghetto for my maneuvers that day, but it worked.

And besides, I grew up in the ghetto.  I should embrace my talents and not be embarrassed by them...

Isn't moving fun?  I hope I don't have to do it myself anytime soon...


Bitch Slap Those Germs With Some Funny Hand Sanitizer

A few months ago I was reading a funny article about hand sanitizers on Adventures in Estrogen, and the funny post became a reality when I spotted some of the funny bottles in a local store.

Fun conversation starter?  Check.

Effective marketing to sell hand sanitizer?  Check.

Intriguing enough for me to look for the company's website to see what else they have to offer?

You better believe it...

With names like "Cleaner than Shit" and "Thanks for Scooping My Poop," you can have a specific bottle of sanitizer for every situation!

My favorite, by far, has to be the OCD bottle.

Directions:  Open cap.  Sanitize.  Close cap.  Open cap.  Sanitize.  Close cap.  Make sure cap is firmly closed.  Recheck cap.  Are you sure it's closed?

The company also does other novelty items like gum ("I kissed a Democrat/Republican" and other fun designs) and breath spray.

This breath spray will help you look and feel Canadian.  Other sprays will help you instantly have a gay accent, or even make you enjoy your job!

And, because I love all of you, I'm going to do a give-away.

I purchased a bottle of "Wait - Was That Slutty?" hand sanitizer and will be announcing a winner on Monday, May 28th.

How can you enter?

1)  Like me on Facebook (1 entry)
2) Leave a comment here (1 entry)
3) Come up with a new and awesome hand sanitizer catch-phrase.  The top 5 will count as 5 entries!

Ready?  GO!


Time To Shake Things Up

I blog, therefore I am.

And I blog a lot, therefore I am a lot.

But am I too much?

I think so.

As of next week, My Own Private Idaho is going to scale down a bit, and become a M/W/F only blog.  Three times a week seems like a good number to me, and it will let me work on other projects:

- A lot of other bloggers are asking me to write guest posts.  This will free up some time where I can actually do it, instead of flaking out on commitments.

- I'm working on a book.  Yes, a book.  You were warned...

- A fellow marketing blogger gave me a neat little idea for a side-job and I want to pursue that a little bit, to see if it pans out.

- And, of course, I have a day job.

Don't worry, I'll still bring you the funny on a regular basis.  Every now and then I'll deviate from the M/W/F schedule and throw in an extra post or two, but I think this will be good for all of us.

It'll give a chance for Q to keep up with me.

Jewels will think I'm considerate now.  :)

And maybe I'll stress a little less when it's 11pm and I haven't thought of anything funny to say...

For some short and sweet laughs, feel free to follow me on twitter.  I say stupid shit on there all day, and it will keep Tuesdays, Thursdays and the Weekends bearable for you.

On that note, see you Monday!  I'll be doing a fun giveaway, and a post Lady E will be proud of!


The Truth About The Recent Pet Food Recalls (from an insider)

If you have pets, you have probably heard about the most recent pet food recall.

You know what?  THIS IS A GOOD THING.  I have been in the industry a long time, and you would be surprised how many pet food companies cover up their problems.

(Hint hint:  They're the brands you are most-likely to see on TV or in Grocery stores)

Diamond Pet Foods is a manufacturer of many brands of pet food (including their own) and have many processing plants across the nation.  In April, they announced a recall on one brand of food because it tested positive for a rare strain of salmonella.

At that point (and as of the publishing of this article) there have been no confirmed reports of animals getting salmonella because of this product.

Want to know why?

It's almost impossible for dogs to get salmonella.  Their digestive tract is too short and their stomach is too acidic.  This is why dogs can eat garbage.  Cat poop.  Lick their butts.  Eat raw pet foods.  All without getting sick.

So why the recall?

It's a 'people' thing, not a pet thing.

People hand-feed their pets (mainly old ladies with the 'my wittle baby' complex).  People handle pet food then don't wash their hands.  People being dumb.  When I handle pet food, I wash my hands.  When I handle raw meats or vegetables, I was my hands.  When I handle door knobs, stair railings, or shake hands, I wash my hands.

And of course the media skews things to incite drama.

Fox News reported workers in the plant were getting sick and "dozens of dogs" have died.  Neither are true.

MSNBC reported "for every case of salmonella reported, 29.3 go undetected. Using that multiplier, at least 410 people may have been sickened by the contaminated pet food."

Oh geez, shut up already.

The truth?  Diamond reacted fast, and tried to pull the product from shelves before any dog (or person) got sick.  They informed the public, distributors, and retail stores as quickly as possible.  They let the public know it was only one plant (South Carolina) with the issue, and only states in the East were affected.  (Idaho, for example, has nothing to worry about).

Diamond then went a step further.  Other products weren't testing positive, but they pulled every product of every brand produced around the same time as the tainted bags, just to be safe.

So when you see brands like Canidae, Taste of the Wild, Apex, etc. having recalls, it's all because of this.  Did they have tainted bags?  Most likely not.  But better safe than sorry.  BECAUSE THEY CARE.

The bottom line:  Don't panic.  The manufacturers have this under control and are being completely transparent.  Again, I have been in the industry for a while, and I can't tell you how many big-box brands would tell their distribution network and have a "don't tell the public" letter attached.  If you alerted the media, your ass would be sued.

Diamond doesn't play like that.  They don't cover shit up.  They care about the public and their consumers, even if it means losing money and shutting down one of their facilities temporarily, in the name of safety.

And for those in the "recalled?  I'm never going to buy THAT again" category, I dare you to go to and look at all the recent recalls.  If you stay away from a product that has been recalled, you'll never eat strawberries, ground beef, sausage or spinach, put your baby in a crib, ride a bike, drive a Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota, Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Volkswagen or any other damn car for that matter.

Recalls happen.  GOOD companies alert the public and make things right.  If you hear about the recall, be happy.  Odds are for every recall you hear about, there are 3-4 that should be done and are covered up (speculation of course, but if MSNBC can do it, why can't I?)


This Makes Me Sad For White People Everywhere


Red Hot Chili Peppers on a Classic Rock Station? Say It Ain't So...

When on the road, I love to listen to the local radio stations.

(Except Country.  I can't stand Country.  Sorry.)

One staple you can find in every corner of America is a good Classic Rock station.  Timeless classics, great to sing along to, and perfect for the road.





Red Hot Chili Peppers

Steely Da---


Remember these?  They're called CD's.
Yes, you heard right.  I just finished singing along to the We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions smashup, when I start singing to the next tune...

"Sometimes I feel like I don't have a partner..."

I get about 2 minutes in, when it hits me. (I DON'T WANNA FEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL...  LIKE I DID THAT DAY....)  I'm listening to a Classic Rock station, and a song from my generation is playing.

This means I am now officially old.

1991 doesn't seem like so long ago, but a child born on-or-before this date in '91 can legally drink alcohol.

21 years...  I feel old now.

I should probably check for gray pubic hairs...

But, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.  Back in the 90's guitarist Flea looked like this:

Now, in 2012, he looks more like this:

...I guess I should be glad.  Classic Rock is better than the oldies station.  Can you imagine the day you hear "BOOM, SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE THE ROOM!" or the Humpty Dance on an oldies station???


Would You Like Some TeriYAAAAAAAki With That?

I love it when I order ethnic foods from white people who can't properly pronounce things...

And, in Idaho, that's all you really get.

I have blogged about a local Mexican restaurant playing the Macarena and having white servers from Wisconsin before, but this was slightly different.

This instance was at a Mongolian BBQ, where the man working the grill couldn't pronounce "Teriyaki" correctly.

He would ask:  "Would you like some TeriYAAAAAki sauce on that?"

With extra AAAAAAAA, in a Fran Drescher-esque tone.

This, combined with a recent Family Guy episode that touched on the same subject, made me grin like a fool.

Enjoy the video, and share my pain:


82 Year Old Idaho Woman Found With Cocaine In Her Car

Making the news this week was the story of an Eastern Idaho woman with a pound of cocaine hidden in her car.

The woman took her car to a local dealership for routine maintenance, when mechanics found a 1lb brick of cocaine strapped near the radiator, wrapped in electrical tape.

The woman bought the car 11 years ago, and local police suspect she was unaware of the drugs that have probably been attached to the car for ages.

The drugs, with a street value of roughly $40,000, were worth more than the car.  Poor lady, that would have been more lucrative than playing the slots at the local Indian Casino.

So, in honor to granny and her coke-muleing, I present to you the best of internet cocaine memes:

The Classic

...too soon?


My Twisted Mother's Day Post Revisited

If you weren't following my blog this time last year, you probably aren't aware of the significance of this condom for Mother's Day.

Well, if you're willing to find out some fun, twisted information about my mom and why she's so badass, feel free to click here to go to last year's Mom's Day post.

Have a fun, safe, relaxing Mother's Day, everyone.


How Dr. Seuss Can Be Used To Argue Everything, Even Equality for Gay Marriage

Like most American children born within the last 40-50ish years, I grew up reading Dr. Seuss books.  The Cat in the Hat, Hop on Pop, Green Eggs and Ham, and all the hits.

The books are easy reading for youngsters, and usually have a nice message.  Own up to your responsibilities.  Believe in yourself, and you can accomplish more than you think.

Don't say you don't like a certain type of food until you try it first.  Even if that shit is green....

...don't jump on your dad, or else you're going to piss him off...

Well, one book that often gets ignored (but is a fantastic story) is about the Sneetches.  It's a story about prejudice and inequality, and I found a youtube clip of the book-turned-into-a-cartoon here:

I'm married and you're only in a Civil Union.
Nyah nyah nyah...
Whether you look at the Jim Crow laws and racism, the ERA and the fight for Women's equality, or even the recent arguments of Gay Marriage vs Civil Unions, the Sneetches tell an interesting story.

Look at the stars being marriage, and the non-stars being civil unions.  Or not.  Maybe?  I'm not sure.

But the salesman plays an important part as well.  Wedding planners, divorce lawyers, and event locations have nothing to lose if gays are allowed to get married.

(college kids, watch the news closely.  If this becomes a historical time, you too can profit from it!!)

Back to the bottom line, I am for all people having the right to be married.  One person should be able to marry another person, regardless or race or gender.  I know what the bible says, but I dare you to show me a person or society that follows 100% of the rules laid out in the bible.  Religions today pick and choose, so why not pick and choose this one as well?

The 20th century had the US fighting for the equal rights for women and blacks.  There are passages that make women sound inequal, and sometimes viewed more as property than a peer.  Slavery was ok in biblical times, so why not now?

Living in a Republic means freedom for all, even the minority.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, but the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.

Which is why, if the Supreme Court intervenes and overturns majority-voted legislation, it is because we live in a Republic and cannot oppress the minority.  The law says we cannot discriminate based on sexual orientation when hiring for work.  If we commit a crime based on race or orientation, it is labeled a hate crime.  Why should the rights of marriage be any different?

Civil Unions are like a Sneetch with no stars, and we're at the beginning of the story.  Eventually it won't matter if you have stars or not or if it's a Marriage, Civil Union, Holy Union, etc., but, as the story goes, you can't teach a Sneetch.  We have to learn that lesson and mature on our own.


Oh Internet. Sometimes You're Just Too Much.

Sometimes the internet can be a frustratingly hilarious place.

Most of the time it is a rainbow of awesomeness (and porn) but every now and then face meets palm in a way only the internet can deliver.

Here is an example.

A few months ago I found a cool "That's What She Said" button at Target.

I even posted about it, and linked a video:

A few days ago, the video received it's first comment:

Let's zoom in on that, shall we??

The title of the video is "That's What She Said Button/Card from Target."  



You know what, never mind.


Poor Customer Service and No Loyalty? Goodbye, @TMobile. You Won't Be Missed.

Ever since my first trip into Montana for business, I have been fighting with T-Mobile and their coverage.  There are no T-Mobile towers in Montana or Wyoming (at least, none that I have encountered) and I was always roaming whenever I was in either state.

At first, it was no big deal, until earlier this year when they changed their data roaming policies and went from 'unlimited' to 'severely limited.'

I had a big-ass data plan, but that only allocated me for 100mb/month of data roaming.  That's a day and a half for me.  I called, I complained.  If I double my data (and double the price) I can have 200mb.

Not good enough.

I complained some more, and after 2 hours of customer service calls and "oops we lost the data connection" chat sessions, they basically told me "too bad."

When they were merging with AT&T, they bent over backwards to keep their customers.  When the merger was called off, it turned into a "you're stuck in a 2yr contract, and we don't give a shit anymore" attitude.

After 4 years of loyalty, I was brushed off and told to deal with it.

When I complained about them changing the terms of their contract and asked for a penalty-free opt-out, I was denied.

After asking for supervisor after supervisor (and transfer after transfer) they agreed to let one account be terminated early with no penalty.  My girlfriend and I are on the same account, and if we cancelled both we would be penalized hard.

Sorry, T-Mobile.  I considered it for a good two seconds, but your poor customer service and your non-loyalty to your loyal customers have forced my hand.

I'm now a Verizon boy.  Yes, I'm paying a little more, but I'm starting to think "you get what you pay for" when you are a low-priced T-Mobile customer.  I don't feel like someone's bitch anymore, and I'm very happy about that.

And I really hope someone from T-Mobile reads this.  If you are and you want this to go away, email me at  I want a formal apology, my early termination fees removed and my balance wiped to $0.  Until then, enjoy the negative PR (which, I'm sure, isn't new to you).

T-Mobile sucks, and so does their cut-rate coverage.  My new Droid RAZR does not.  I should have done this years ago.